The Project Team

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)

INFNThe Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), founded in 1951, is the Italian research agency dedicated to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and the laws that govern them, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR). It conducts theoretical and experimental research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear and astroparticle physics. INFN promotes the application of the skills, methods, and experimental techniques, developed in the course of its own research, to research in other fields, such as medicine, artistic preservation, environment protection and food safety.

INFN has 20 years experience in the design and building of particle experiments in space and has been involved since its foundation in the activities related to the development of the powerful superconducting magnets used to steer the beams of particle accelerators.

INFN is the coordinator of the SR2S project.


Compagnia Generale per lo Spazio (CGS SpA)

CGSCGS SpA is one of the main companies developing space systems in Italy and is in the aerospace market for the past 30 years. The company employs about 200 qualified engineers and researchers and one of its areas of expertise involves space exploration ranging from exploration mission and system studies to development of technologies and capabilities related to precision landing, surface mobility, in-situ resources utilisation, energy provision and management and science. They are one of the main players developing strategic studies for the definition of the European space exploration architectures, to be deployed on future exploration targets like the Moon, NEOs and Mars.

CGS SpA has also developed the design of human habitable elements that could benefit from the radiation shielding technologies studied and developed in the frame of the SR2S project. Also the company is currently supporting INFN in its study “Superconductive magnet for radiation shielding of human spacecraft” covering all aspects related to the compatibility of the proposed shielding design with space exploration architectures.

Moreover CGS SpA has a very deep experience in advanced structures/thermal control design and related technologies matured in several European and national programmes.


Columbus Superconductor SpA

Columbus SuperconductorsColumbus Superconductors SpA (CS) is a world leader in cutting-edge magnesium diboride (MgB2) technology and the transformation of this superconducting material into long, versatile and highly reliable superconducting wires. The company is vertically integrated, from R&D to applications and from production to sales.

CS was established in Genoa in 2003 following successful cooperation involving ASG Superconductors, CNR-INFM (the Italian National Research Council) and a group of researchers. The company was one of the first to develop long wire prototypes and in 2005 set the world record with the first 1.6 km MgB2 tape. This milestone event paved the way to industrial applications for MgB2-based wires and their large scale production.

The reliability of the MgB2 wires produced by CS has already been demonstrated by the realisation and successful operation of a number of real-scale prototype devices each consuming several kilometres of conductor, such as open-MRI systems, induction heaters, fault current limiters and numerous other solenoid, racetrack and pancake magnets realised worldwide.


Thales Alenia Space – Italia S.p.A.

Thales AleniaThales Alenia Space – Italia S.p.A. (TAS-I) is a joint venture from the merger of Alcatel subsequently Thales, and Finmeccanica space activities, to form the Space Alliance, a new European space industry leader.

TAS-I has more than 40 years of experience in the design, integration, testing, operation and commissioning of innovative space systems. Featuring cutting-edge technologies, these systems meet the needs of commercial, government, scientific, defence and security customers from around the world. The satellites and payloads designed by TAS – I set the global standard for space systems that provide communications and navigation services, monitor our environment and the oceans, help us better understand climate change and drive scientific progress. Thales Alenia Space is also a leading supplier to the International Space Station, and a pivotal player in space systems designed to explore the Universe.

TAS – I, in the SR2S project will provide the trade-off and analysis of the space system active shielding concept, including the radiation analyses. Structural concepts of inflatable/flexible deployment elements will be provided to the resulting thermo-structural design.


Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives

CEACommissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) is a French national scientific and engineering agency playing a major role in energy, information technology and health, with a strong emphasis on fundamental research.

The CEA is active in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defence and security, information technologies and health technologies. In each of these fields, the CEA maintains a cross-disciplinary culture of engineers and researchers, building on the synergies between fundamental and technological research.

CEA’s role in SR2S will be to lead in cryogenic subsystem design and cryogenic fluid recirculation validation and will contribute to active radiation protection system design.



cernAt CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter - the fundamental particles. The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.

The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

CERN’s role in the SR2S project is to provide support to superconductor coil magnetic design, support the definition of all test plans regarding the validation at cryogenic temperatures of superconducting cable samples and of the superconductor coil. They will also provide cryogenic test facilities for technology validation of superconducting cable samples and of the superconducting magnetic coil. With regard to the project results CERN will also host a museum/lab exhibition which will be located at CERN and open to the visiting public and scientific teams.


Carr Communications

Carr CommunicationsCarr Communications, based in Ireland, is an all-island leader in dissemination, communications, exploitation, training and consultancy with over 30 full-time staff. The company currently provides dissemination and exploitation consultancy to a large number of private and public sector clients across Europe. Carr Communications is also involved in the development of strategic management, communications and exploitation plans for a number of industrial, environmental, Government and public sector clients as well as the provision of training, consultancy and exploitation support needed to implement those plans.

The role of Carr Communications in this project will be to lead the dissemination and exploitation of the project news and results over the three years period. They will also specifically manage the dissemination tasks within the project.

Radiation issues for manned Mars mission

sidebar radiation article

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

See original article from The Guardian here.

Materials that Halt Hazardous Space Radiation

Radiation has long been an issue when it comes to space travel. In fact, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently confirmed previous research on the hazards of space radiation, revealing that radiation levels on the way to the Red Planet are several hundred times higher than the those humans receive on Earth. Now, scientists may have found a way to shield astronauts from the hazards of this radiation.

See original article from Science World Report here.

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Current Project Status

The SR2S project is nearing completion. Project partners presented their technological achievements at the final project dissemination event in Brussels in December 2015. To read more about this event, click here.

Next Project Milestone

The final project review meeting will take place in January 2016. Further information and final project results will be available after this date.

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